Kamala Harris is set to make her first trip to Iowa since becoming vice president.
The White House says Harris will meet with local leaders to discuss reproductive rights during her visit to Des Moines on Thursday — an extension of her nationwide tour following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last summer, leaving abortion restrictions to the states.
Kamala Harris will travel to Iowa for 1st time as @VP. Her office says she “will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to meet with local leaders to discuss the fight to protect reproductive rights” on Thursday.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 14, 2023
Abortion remains legal for up to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy in Iowa, but there have been efforts by Republicans seeking further restrictions.
Although the trip is being pegged as one pertaining to official business, the 2024 presidential election cycle is beginning to get underway, and early-voting Iowa is already attracting current or prospective Republicans candidates, including former President Donald Trump, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Democrats voted in recent months to move South Carolina, a key state that helped lift Biden to the party’s nomination in 2020, to replace Iowa as its first presidential nominating state in 2024.
The decision led to a rebuke by Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Rita Hart, who warned the move will make Democrats vulnerable to claims that they have “turned their back on Iowa and rural America,” per NBC News.
According to CNN, which first reported plans for Harris to visit Iowa, President Joe Biden has avoided the state ever since he proposed the revised schedule for presidential primaries.
Biden has said he intends to run for re-election in 2024, but has yet to formally declare a campaign.
As for his plans for a running mate, a little more than one year ago, Biden said he was committed to Harris in 2024 if he sought a second term.
Harris, a former U.S. senator and attorney general from California, journeyed to Iowa as a presidential candidate in the 2020 cycle, including a visit to the famous Iowa State Fair a few months before she dropped out of the race ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.